The January 2015 issue of Consumer Reports heeds a warning for everyone, but especially for those who are gluten free. Anyone who eats rice needs to be aware that they may be exposing themselves to inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen. Arsenic is a natural part of the earth’s crust, but has been released into the environment through use of pesticides and fertilizers. Rice tends to absorb more arsenic than other plants.
Consumer Reports used their new data to assign a point value to types of rice products and they recommend getting no more than 7 points per week. The article contains a detailed list, for example 1/4 cup uncooked White Basmati (grown in California, India or Pakistan) or Sushi Rice (grown in US) are assigned only 1.5 points while all other (including brown, organic, etc.) contain 80% more. They also assign points to rice pasta, cakes, crackers, muffins, etc.
The article proposes a strong warning for gluten free children because risk of arsenic is based on weight. For example 2 ounces of rice pasta that provides 3 points for adults amounts to 7.25 points for children – exceeding the weeks recommendation in one meal.
Other gluten free grains were tested and were found to have negligible levels of inorganic arsenic, emphasizing the importance for those who are gluten free to vary the types of grains they eat.
(article summarized by Susan Chambers)